Friday, November 18, 2005



There was such a brouhaha over the Robin-Hood-In-Reverse Republican budget yesterday. First-- for anyone (like me) who questions whether there even is a difference between the Democrats and Republicans-- let me say that on both votes yesterday even the most reactionary Democrats (like Melissa Bean of Illinois and a handful of ultra-conservative throwbacks from Texas and Oklahoma and Arkansas) voted en masse to protect American workers and the middle class from the vicious Republican budget, which, basically, cuts billions from crucial social services (like higher education, ) to accommodate more tax breaks for multimillionaires and corporations. 100% of the Democrats voted against this horrible bill and almost all the Republicans voted for it. And "almost" wasn't enough early in the day when the bill failed. At that point 22 Republicans-- a combination of suburban moderates who fear for their re-election prospects if they cut too deeply (like Delaware's Castle, Connecticut's Simmons and Iowa's Leach) and extreme right-wing maniacs who think the draconian cuts weren't deep enough (real kooks like Pickering of Mississippi, Rogers of Alabama and Emerson of Missouri) and by a gaggle of just plain petrified endangered incumbents who have no strong beliefs one way or the other and just want to keep their lucrative positions (like Wilson of New Mexico, Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Renzi of Arizona)-- voted against the GOP hard right leadership's Bushite bill. The $142.5 billion measure was rejected by a vote of 224 to 209.

Then last night the desperate Republican leadership was able to "convince"-- one way or another-- a few of the so-called "moderates" to vote for the bill and they passed it by 2 votes. According to today's WASHINGTON POST, the debate last night was filled with bitterness and acrimony. Extreme right-wing fanatic Jack Kingston (R-GA) attacked the deficit-minded "Blue Dog" Democrats, calling them "lap dogs" and Arkansas Democrat Marion Berry let the cat-out-of-the-bag as far as the widely used nickname for mentally-challenged redheaded Florida Republican, Adam Putnam, referring to him as a "Howdy Doody-looking nimrod."

According to the POST article "the House measure would cut about 220,000 people off food stamps, allow states to impose new costs on Medicaid beneficiaries, squeeze student lenders, cut aid to state child-support enforcement programs and trim farm supports. Education funding would decline for the first time in a decade, with Pell grants frozen for the fourth year in a row." Inadequate funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which was a non-negotiable demand from Bush and the Republican leadership and which subsidizes heating bills, virtually guarantees that some elderly people, forced to chose between eating and heating, will freeze to death this winter while Cheney's pals running the big oil corporations get more multimillion dollar bonuses-- and more tax breaks. This is America???

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At 6:17 PM, Blogger RightDemocrat said...

The Blue Dog Democrats have been leading the fight for fiscal responsibility. I think that the Republican budget which will only create a bigger national deficit is a great issue for Democrats. Big spending and wildly tax cutting Republicans give Democrats a chance to become the party of financial sanity.

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Timcanhear said...

rightdemocrat ... ya think? ya think the dems in congress can see an opportunity when it surfaces? I'm not so sure.

At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republicans are always saying Democrats are the ones who spend. Republicans spend just as much. Just on what THEY want to spend on (war, for example, as opposed to human needs).....


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